ASLI Working Paper Series

Publication Title Challenges of an Aging Japan: Effects, Efficiency and Effectiveness of Law Reforms
Publisher Asian Law Institute
Series WPS039
Publication Date Jul 2017
Author/Speaker Časlav Pejović
This paper highlights one of the most serious challenges facing Japan is the rapid ageing of its population. While the ageing problem is not limited to Japan, it is most dramatic here. Japan has become the world’s most aged nation and has been categorized as a hyper-aged society. The problem that Japan is facing is a lack of workers rather than a lack of jobs. Or, maybe even worse: there will soon not be enough workers to support the rising numbers of pensioners. Population decline is likely to create a serious workforce shortage and put pressure on the pension system. Although it is difficult to reverse the declining trend of Japan’s working population, the labour shortage problem can be remedied by employing workers more efficiently. The government has been very active in trying to remedy the impact of the ageing population on the labour market. It has taken action in different areas, including trying to promote more efficient use of elderly employees and women, and opening more possibilities for foreigners. To promote these policies, the government has relied heavily on legislation. Experience with implementing legal reforms aimed at remedying the ageing problem in Japan has demonstrated that legislation can be used as an efficient tool in enforcing government policies and that it can guide changes in a desired direction. To make an assessment of the efficiency and limitations of law reforms, this paper will try to identify factors that play an important role in the process of implementation.
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